Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 6:39 pm
Yes, it's still October, but the Northeast could be in for quite a snowstorm this weekend. It'll be a "quick, one-day event," says the Weather Channel, but it could dump up to 15 inches in Harrisburg, Pa.; 10 inches in Hartford, Conn.; 12 inches in Concord, N.H.
In all, 619 different groups and corporations said they intend to lobby around the work of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, better known around Capitol Hill as the supercommittee. All of them mentioned the supercommittee or the legislation that created it in their mandatory third-quarter lobbying disclosure forms. Here is an alphabetical list of the organizations:
When Bank of America decided to introduce a $5 per month debit-card fee, consumers weren't happy. One senator even said it amounted to BoA "sticking it to customers."
All that noise might have encouraged JPMorgan Chase & Co. to steer clear. After testing out the concept in Georgia and northern Wisconsin for eight months, the bank said today that it scrapping the pilot next month and would not impose fees anywhere else.
For some people at especially high risk of developing colon cancer, taking a couple aspirin a day appears to help protect them from the disease.
A study in The Lancet finds that people with Lynch syndrome, a hereditary predisposition to cancer of the digestive tract, who took aspirin twice a day for a up to 4 years were about 60 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than those who got a placebo.
<p>Newt Gingrich is introduced before the start of a Republican presidential debate earlier this month in Las Vegas.The former House speaker is hoping for a surge after a highly anticipated Iowa caucus poll is released this weekend. </p>
Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 4:23 pm
It was a bet made as a joke. Last New Year's eve, California restaurateur Ted Balestreri had then-CIA director Leon Panetta and about 28 others over for a dinner party. He was talking to his guests about his wine collection, when the 141-year-old bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild came up.
It was the oldest wine in his possession and Balesteri said he wouldn't serve it, but if Panetta captured Osama bin Laden he would uncork the $10,000 legendary bottle of wine.
Every year, about 8 million tons of fallen leaves end up in landfills.
That's according to Melissa Hopkins of the National Audubon Society, who offers alternatives to raking up leaves and throwing them away.
"A lot of people think that when leaves fall, you need to really quickly scoop them up and get rid of them," she tells NPR's Melissa Block as they take a look Block's backyard in Washington, D.C., covered in a blanket of leaves. "We think about leaves as vitamins. They are free vitamins that naturally occur in your yard."
Federal watchdogs now concede they made a mistake when they criticized the Justice Department for paying $16 each for muffins at a conference. But they also say Justice still needs to be careful about how it spends taxpayer money.
<p>A photograph of Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen is seen Thursday at a vigil. Olsen was severely injured during a standoff between police and protesters in Oakland, Calif., two days earlier. He remains hospitalized.</p>
The bloodied face of a 24-year-old Iraq veteran has become a symbol for protesters in Oakland, Calif., drawing attention to the level of force used by police and sparking criticism of the mayor's handling of the Occupy movement.
Scott Olsen came to Occupy Oakland after work Tuesday night to support the protesters. Witnesses say that when clashes broke out, he was struck in the head by a projectile fired by police — either a rubber bullet or a tear gas canister. He was hospitalized with a fractured skull.
Deans from some of the nation's top medical schools met Thursday — not to talk about training doctors or weathering economic challenges — but to size up the people who grade them.
The sit-down between editors at U.S. News & World Report and the top brass at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and several other schools showed how seriously those in medicine's ivory tower take the magazine's annual rankings.
A few years ago, Father Tomasz Trafny was brainstorming with other Vatican officials about what technologies would shape society, and how the Vatican could have an impact. And it hit them: Adult stem cells, which hold the promise of curing the most difficult diseases, are the technology to watch.
"They have not only strong potentiality," says Trafny, "but also they can change our vision of human being[s], and we want to be part of the discussion."
Tunisia, the cradle of the Arab Spring, held its first elections since its longtime dictator was toppled after a popular revolt. The elections were seen as one of the brightest moments in the regional movement.
But, today, it became clear that the path to democracy won't be easy. After the country announced that the Islamist Ennahda party had won 41 percent of the votes and 90 seats of the 217-member assembly, protests erupted across the country.
Ken Ward of the Charleston Gazette has a story this morning featuring a rare interview with the U.S. Attorney for West Virginia, who says prosecutors are exploring more serious charges against senior Massey Energy officials in last year's deadly explosion at the company's Upper Big Branch mine.
Originally published on Fri October 28, 2011 3:31 pm
Consider the last time you ordered a salad at a restaurant. What, precisely, was in it? Chances are you'll remember the biggest, brightest ingredients, like the lettuce, the tomato, maybe the grilled chicken.
But will you remember the little bits — the nuts, berries or toppings? In an age when salads increasingly aspire to be confetti-like piles of artistic greatness, you'd be pardoned if you didn't take note every morsel.
Sure, it's just one poll of many, but October marks a crummy month for sentiment about the federal Affordable Care Act.
For the first time since President Obama signed it into law in March 2010, more than half of those polled — 51 percent — told researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation they had an unfavorable view of the measure overhauling health care. Only 34 percent said they viewed the law favorably, a post-passage low.
But personal income grew only 0.1 percent last month — meaning that consumers dug into their savings in order to boost spending. According to the bureau: "Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 3.6 percent in September, compared with 4.1 percent in August."
Officials of the International Criminal Court are having "indirect" talks with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi about his possible surrender, the ICC's prosecutor told The Associated Press and other news outlets today.
Saif al-Islam, one of Moammar Gadhafi's sons, once was seen as the heir apparent to the former Libyan dictator.
"Despite a pledge not to take money from lobbyists, President Obama has relied on prominent supporters who are active in the lobbying industry to raise millions of dollars for his re-election bid," The New York Times reports this morning.
<p>Blind activist Chen Guangcheng with his wife and son outside their home in northeast China's Shandong province in 2005. He's been held incommunicado at his home for more than a year and has become the focus of a microblog campaign by human-rights activists. </p>
Credit STR / AFP/Getty Images
<p>Yang Jinde says he was tortured in a police dog training center, leaving him blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. These pictures were taken by lawyer Zhu Mingyong inside a detention center, where the lawyer also shot a video of Yang that has gone viral. </p>
In China, microblogs are transforming the way activists draw attention to human-rights cases. Despite strict Internet controls, netizens are using Chinese Twitter as a powerful tool.
Two recent cases show just how effective microblogs can be in shaping the debate over human-rights abuses and driving citizen activism.
One case involves a chilling video that was recently released online. In it, a man lies under a green quilt, apparently naked. His left eye and right ear are covered with bandages; the skin on his feet is discolored and peeling.
<p>German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao meeting in Berlin on June 28. During Europe's economic crisis, both China and the United States have stayed mostly on the sidelines.</p>
Credit Markus Schreiber / AP
<p>U.S Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (left) speaks to French Finance Minister Francois Baroin (right) during talks in Marseille in September. While the U.S. has been concerned about Europe's debt crisis, the Americans have not been major players.</p>
When Columbus sailed west in the late 15th century, he launched a long and lucrative relationship between Europe and the Americas. Family ties, economic bonds and shared military goals continue to knit us together.
But as the European debt crisis has deepened, it has highlighted this early 21st century shift: The United States is becoming more of a Pacific Rim country and less of a North Atlantic partner.
<p>Stone elephants line a newly inaugurated park dedicated to Dalit, or lower caste, leaders in a suburb of New Delhi, India. Mayawati, a politician known as the "Dalit queen," says previous governments did nothing to honor the leaders who fought for Dalit rights.</p>
Credit Pankaj Nangia / AP
<p>Mayawati, chief minister of the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, gestures as she prepares to open the newly built Dalit memorial on the outskirts of New Delhi on Oct. 14. </p>